Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress

What is a Hub, and How is ASAP Working to Implement One?

February 22, 2018 By Rhonda Fischer

The Hub was first introduced to the public in October 2017 as a part of the Substance Abuse Support System. The Hub is center of the system and connects to all the other elements.

We have described the Hub as a “physical place staffed with trained volunteers who help individuals and families navigate recovery options and connect with appropriate community organizations”.

The team

A team of community leaders is working to develop and execute an implementation plan by following the CivicLab project management framework.

Team member Role/organization
Anna Hilycord Centerstone
Alicia Monroe 211
Ben Jackson Columbus Trustee
Bill Jones St Bartholomew Parish
Brad Barnes Community Corrections
Elizabeth Kestler Love Chapel
Lisa Pein St. Peter’s Life Works
Liz Patton VIMCare Clinic
Nicki Vreeland Healthy Communities
Rhonda Fischer ASAP

Listening to local community leaders and those impacted by addiction

As part of the CivicLab process, the team met with local community leaders over a several hour workshop to understand what is needed from our support organizations, and received the following feedback:

The Hub should be a well-respected entity that is easily accessible at all hours and staffed with compassionate listeners experienced in addiction who can provide warm handoffs and guidance in helping someone navigate appropriate options and community services as well as help local organizations become more cohesive and collaborative in dealing with substance misuse.

Additionally, the team held focus groups with people in recovery and family members impacted by addiction. Their input included the following:

The Hub should have easy, no waiting, guided access to the best services available to meet someone’s needs in a confidential, safe and affordable manner located in a homey, welcoming environment providing realistic hope.

Learning from other communities

The team also visited and learned from other communities, including:

  • Bloomington’s Recovery Engagement Center, which has peer recovery services, 12 step meetings, Centerstone counselor offices, computers and even a few beds on the second floor.
  • Pennsylvania’s PRO-ACT Recovery Community Centers, which does not have clinical services, but has a large ratio of volunteers to paid staff and considers their volunteers who lead a diverse range of services the key component in their success.
  • Seattle’s Recovery Café provides coffee, meals and a friendly environment to sit across from someone and get to know them.
  • The Trusted Mentor organization is focused on helping people establish stable lives.

Based on what they learned, the team is working to determine what makes sense for our community.


ASAP expects the Hub to be a physical place, but does not know yet where it should be located. The team is evaluating considerations, such as the need for sufficient parking, close to a bus stop, ability to have community events, smaller rooms for private discussions and rooms for group meetings.  The team also envisions computers for resume building and email access. Coffee is a given, and maybe there will be kitchen space.

Crawl, walk, run approach to implementation

The implementation approach is to crawl, then walk and run. Through March, the team is gauging volunteer interest, which they hope to use to justify hiring a volunteer coordinator. After establishing leadership positions, a structure to engage volunteers can be added.Later, volunteer support can be leveraged to secure a building. The team hopes to have paid positions in place with trained volunteers in a local building before the end of 2018.

The Hub is not one thing as much as it is pieces coming together. It’s up to the community to determine where there is both energy and need.  The options are endless and they all depend on individuals to make it real.

Examples of those we hope to support

In order for everyone who wants the services to feel welcome, it’s critical for the volunteers to be compassionate listeners, without judgement. A critical service will be offering navigation support in understanding their options. We will ask those who arrive what kind of help they most want and try to help them find it. In order to be welcoming to all, we need representatives across our community, so people can see themselves in others. We expect to support families as well as people looking for support in navigating their recovery journey, whether they are just starting or in long term recovery.

How to help

If you’re interested in meeting members of the Hub team and letting us know your interest in helping, please attend one of the Hub Community meetings. We invite anyone to attend the meetings and help us learn what the community would like to see the Hub become.


Category: General